Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (3)

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/12/27 10:25:23

2. Man-made satellites

(1) Earth observation satellites. The function of the Fengyun (Wind and Cloud), Haiyang (Ocean), Ziyuan (Resources), Gaofen (High Resolution), Yaogan (Remote-Sensing) and Tianhui (Space Mapping) satellite series and constellation of small satellites for environment and disaster monitoring and forecasting has been improved. The Fengyun polar orbit meteorological satellite has succeeded in networking observation by morning and afternoon satellites, while its geostationary earth orbit (GEO) meteorological satellite has formed a business mode of "multi-satellites in orbit, coordinated operation, mutual backup and encryption at the appropriate time." The Haiyang-2 satellite is capable of all-weather, full-time and high-accuracy observation of marine dynamic parameters such as sea height, sea wave and sea surface wind. The Ziyuan-1 02C satellite was launched, the Ziyuan-3 01 and 02 stereo mapping satellites have achieved double star networking and operating. The China High-resolution Earth Observation System program has been fully implemented; the Gaofen-2 is capable of sub-meter optical remote-sensing observation, the Gaofen-3 has a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imaging instrument that is accurate to one meter and the Gaofen-4 is China's first geosynchronous orbit high-resolution earth observation satellite. Satellite C of the environment and disaster monitoring and forecasting small satellite constellation has been put into use. The successful launching of the Kuaizhou-1 and Kuaizhou-2, which adopted integrated design of the satellite and the launch vehicle, has improved China's emergency response capability in space. The Jilin-1, a high-resolution remote-sensing satellite for commercial use has been launched and put into service.

(2) Communications and broadcasting satellites. China has comprehensively advanced the construction of fixed, mobile and data relay satellite systems. The successful launch of communications satellites such as Yatai and Zhongxing represented the completion of a fixed communications satellite support system whose communications services cover all of China's territory as well as major areas of the world. The Tiantong-1, China's first mobile communications satellite, has been successfully launched. The first-generation data relay satellite system composed of three Tianlian-1 satellites has been completed, and high-speed communication test of satellite-ground laser link has been crowned with success. In addition, the development of the DFH-5 super communications satellite platform is going smoothly.

(3) Navigation and positioning satellites. The Beidou Navigation Satellite System (Beidou-2) has been completed, with the networking of 14 Beidou navigation satellites, officially offering positioning, velocity measurement, timing, wide area difference and short-message communication service to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. Beidou's global satellite navigation system is undergoing smooth construction.

(4) New technological test satellites. China has launched the Shijian-9 satellite series for technological experiments, providing an important way to test new technologies.

3. Manned spaceflight

In June 2012 and June 2013, the Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 manned spacecraft were launched to dock with the target spacecraft Tiangong-1. They used manual and automatic operations respectively, symbolizing breakthroughs for China in spacecraft rendezvous and docking technology and full success in its first operation of a manned space transportation system. In September and October 2016 the Tiangong-2 space laboratory and Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft were launched and formed an assembly that operates steadily, with the mission of carrying out science and technology experiments in space, indicating that China has mastered technologies concerning astronauts' mid-term stay in orbit, and long-term ground mission support. Currently, China has mastered major space technologies such as manned space transportation, space extravehicular activity, space docking, operating in assembly and astronauts' mid-term stay in orbit.

4. Deep space exploration

In December 2012 the Chang'e-2 lunar probe made a successful observation trip over asteroid 4179 (Toutatis). In December 2013 the Chang'e-3 realized the first soft landing on the surface of an extraterrestrial body by a Chinese spacecraft and completed patrol and exploration on the surface of the moon. In November 2014 China achieved success in the reentry and return flight test of the third-phase lunar exploration engineering, indicating that China has mastered the key technology of spacecraft reentry and return flight in a speed close to second cosmic velocity.

The Lunar Exploration Program helped mankind to acquire a high-resolution map of the moon and a high-definition image of Sinus Iridum, and conducted research of lunar surface morphology, lunar structure, elemental composition of the lunar surface, lunar surface environment, lunar space environment and moon-based astronomical observation. (more)

Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (1)

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Full Text: China's Space Activities in 2016 (9)

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